Although many consumers worry about their private information being stolen online, a new study found that most identity theft doesn’t happen via the Internet, but through more traditional means.
According to the study, just 12 percent of all identity fraud cases in which the cause is known are computer crimes. Half of those online crimes were attributed to spyware, software that remotely extracts personal information from computers.
“Most people’s identity is being stolen in traditional ways,” says Ken Hunter, president and chief executive of the Better Business Bureau, which conducted the study with Javelin Research. Three companies that promote online banking sponsored the study.
The study also found that identity theft is commonly committed by friends, relatives, and employees that work in people's homes.